October 17, 2011

Messenger by Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be
astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.

Photo by joystclaire

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Comments

  • My friend at book club said she wanted this poem to be her reminder for the week: “My work is loving the world.” I thought it was so beautiful, I couldn’t not share. I hope it helps sets the tone for your week and is a welcome reminder.6 years ago

  • Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams: Absolutely gorgeous. Thank you, Sarah.6 years ago

  • geek+nerd: Love Mary Oliver…but I’m going to skip over the wonderful and obvious sentiment of this post to say that I COVET that Catherine Holm teapot.

    That is all. Resume with poetic feelings 🙂6 years ago

  • Michelle: One of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver.
    She was just in San Francisco speaking as part of the City Lectures series. She shared this amazing nugget of wisdom (which fits so beautifully with the poem you posted:

    “Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”6 years ago

  • Cadi: A little bit of beauty to get your week started. Thanks Sarah!6 years ago

  • Asri M: Thank you for sharing. I pinned it onto my pinterest page http://pinterest.com/pin/341819318/6 years ago

  • MrsB: just perfect…and as always with your lovely self so magically timely! x6 years ago

  • Karen: Beautiful!6 years ago

  • geek+nerd, I KNOW! I totally want some Cathrineholm for myself!

    Michelle, Thank you so much for sharing what she said! I think I want to add that to my quote boards. 🙂

    Katie, Cadi, Asri, MrsB, Karen––so glad you all enjoyed. I hope it helped you through the Monday.6 years ago

  • Kristine: I’m kind of late, but this will help me through a Tuesday as well. Beautiful thoughts and a good reminder. I’m going to go admire some fat blue plums.6 years ago

  • nicole: Thank you for this — just what I needed to read today. And I think you DO have a lovely gathering place here, one that feels homey and comfortable but at the same time thought-provoking and wise … I too am searching lately for my ‘offering’ and on many days I think that simply ‘loving the world’ is the best place to start.5 years ago

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